Cats not keen to sell Henderson

The 20-year-old on Thursday morning found himself at the centre of

speculation that the Merseyside club are ready to launch a

big-money bid to lure him away from his home-town club. However,

while the Black Cats know every player has his price, they are

certainly not looking to cash in on their highest-profile Academy

graduate as manager Steve Bruce attempts to strengthen his squad.

Sources on Wearside have indicated that Henderson is simply not for

sale, and certainly not at the £13million fee quoted in some

reports. Nevertheless, that is unlikely to quell the rumours

surrounding a player who has previously been linked with both

Manchester clubs. Henderson has enjoyed a meteoric rise since

emerging as a genuine first-team prospect under Bruce following a

successful loan spell at Coventry before the manager’s arrival at

the Stadium of Light in the summer of 2009. The Sunderland-born

player made an instant impact as a teenager last season and was

handed a first senior England cap against France in November last

year after a good start to the last campaign. However, a dip in

form in the immediate aftermath of that landmark coincided with a

difficult spell for his injury-hit club, and his stock fell

slightly as a result. But Bruce was quick to defend the youngster

and is confident he has a player of enormous potential on his

hands. He said at the time: “It’s been a big learning curve for

Jordan, this season. After getting the euphoria of the England

call-up and then what has happened to him since, it just shows you

what football is. “It’s a sharp learning curve for him, but the kid

wants to learn and wants to play and I still believe he has got a

huge, huge future in the game.”